I read somewhere that some books are “comfort reads”, you know, those books you reread a hundred times and end up purchasing more than once because you wear your copy out. Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings is a “comfort read” for me. The first time I read it was in high school, I remember purchasing it at a bookstore, at random, and devouring it within two days (no mean feat considering the size of the novel). I have destroyed two paperback copies and am now working on destroying a hardbound copy (give me time and I am sure I will end up with a copy on my ereader as well). I reread the series at least once a year, if not more.
Publisher: It all begins with the theft of the Orb that for so long protected the West from an evil god. As long as the Orb was at Riva, the prophecy went, its people would be safe from this corrupting power. Garion, a simple farm boy, is familiar with the legend of the Orb, but skeptical in matters of magic. Until, through a twist of fate, he learns not only that the story of the Orb is true, but that he must set out on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger to help recover it. For Garion is a child of destiny, and fate itself is leading him far from his home, sweeping him irrevocably toward a distant tower—and a cataclysmic confrontation with a master of the darkest magic.
Pawn of Prophecy is the first book in the Belgariad Series, a collection of five novels. The novel begins with a boy, Garion, living on a farm with his aunt raising him. One night, he and his aunt are forced to leave in the middle of the night to meet up with others, chasing someone who stole something but no-one will tell Garion exactly what and who they are chasing. Garion slowly starts to realize that his aunt and the group they have met up with are very important politic figures and that what they are chasing after will change the course of history. There is magic but it is all carefully bound by rules, which appeals to my logic nature (how you can have something as powerful as magic without careful rules to control it?!).
David Eddings does a fabulous job of giving each of the lands in the novel their own culture and history. The world Eddings’ created is influenced by the seven Gods that exist, with each of the different lands ruled over by a specific God and taking on the characteristics of that God. For example, the God Nedra loves gambling and chance so his followers are always making deals with each other, their God, and their culture revolves around money.
His characters are very distinctive and very witty. Eddings cohesion of the history of the land, its people and the impact of that history on the ongoing story is unparalleled. It is like reading Tolkien without all the boring parts (I mean really, do we really care what EVERY tree looks like in Tolkiens’ world?!). I highly recommend it and give it a rating for violence, not sex.